Woman Admits Killing Her Husband With Surprising Weapon: Common Eye Drops

September 05, 2018
By: Christine Colby

CLOVER, SC — A South Carolina woman stands accused of murdering her husband with a weapon so mundane that we probably all have some in our medicine cabinet: eye drops.

Lana Clayton, 52, has admitted to slowly poisoning her husband, Stephen Clayton, over a period of days by adding the eye drop fluid to his drinking water.

The 64-year-old was found dead on July 21 at the couple's home, which was modeled on George Washington's Mount Vernon estate and valued at more than $800,000.

York County police said that she confessed after an autopsy uncovered a high amount of tetrahydrozoline in her husband's body. The chemical is found in over-the-counter eye drops such as Visine.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, swallowing this substance can result in lowering body temperature to dangerous levels, halting breathing, blurring vision, nausea and vomiting, elevating and dropping blood pressure, and causing seizures or tremors. Ingesting too much tetrahydrozoline can send a person into a coma, or cause death.

Pfizer cautions Visine users: “If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away" — and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning for parents to make sure that they do not leave bottles where children can access them.

According to WSOC-TV, Stephen Clayton's funeral was held in the home's back yard before the autopsy results were revealed.

Friends and family are reportedly now shocked that Lana would harm her husband, and have stated that Stephen appeared to be devoted to his wife. Police have not yet revealed a motive for the murder.

Lana Clayton has also been charged with malicious tampering with a drug product or food.

The investigation continues.

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Read more: CBS News

Main photo: Lana Clayton [York County Sheriff's Office]

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